Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 47 seconds

We live in a mobile age, and with numerous studies showing the growth of the Mobile industry, we can be pretty sure this won’t be changing any time soon. Recent statistics show that 60% of all users visiting top sites on the internet are doing so from their mobile devices, and according to a number of articles published in 2014 by Forbes and other sites such as SmartInsights, we now know that mobile browsing has steadily overtaken traditional desktop browsing. A recent article on marketingland.com shows 70% of amazon’s traffic is mobile (and this does not even include app usage).

So we know that mobile browsing is on the rise, but what does this mean in terms of our approach to design and development? With +-40% of people still using desktops, we turn to Responsive web design for a flexible solution. This terms refers to websites that work for both mobile and desktop users; responsive sites which respond according to screen size and platform. Simply put, the site is ordered and structured to look good on everything from mobile phones and tablets to desktop screens of various sizes. These layouts will change to give the user the best possible view of the site, regardless of device.

In order to provide the user with the best possible experience, it is important to ensure that our sites are small enough in data size to load quickly on mobile, thereby reducing unnecessary data expenses, while still providing a rich browser experience on the desktop.

A few things web developers and designers have started doing to achieve this include:

·         The use of Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG’s), due to their scalability for mobile and desktop. SVG’s allow for a much lighter option than high definition images loading on mobile, while simultaneously providing a viable option for great looking sites on desktop as well.

·         Using fewer images in general combined with the clever use of CSS makes a site lighter in data use, since the site content is predominantly code. With modern browsers supporting some amazing developments in CSS code-driven functions, visuals have become more efficient and much more popular.

·         Making use of CSS animation options and limiting the use of JavaScript for things like animations and dynamic content, result in a faster, more lightweight site without sacrificing aesthetics and design appeal.

Having a light website is just one of the steps to take for a mobile friendly site. There are also many resources available to assist developers in creating responsive sites for the best user experience, regardless of device used to access the site. –These include Frameworks such as Bootstrap, Foundation and Skeleton, which are a few of the most common tools used. Having a responsive, fast loading mobile friendly site is becoming standard practice in business, and for good reason. Appealing to a possible 60% of your traffic from mobile devices speaks volumes about understanding the market; presenting those users with a well designed user experience that delivers to their specific needs is an integral part of that understanding. Considering the graph below, turning a blind eye to digital standards seems downright silly.

 

Infographic: Global Smartphone Traffic to Increase Tenfold by 2019 | Statista
You will find more statistics at Statista

References:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/connieguglielmo/2014/02/05/mobile-traffic-will-continue-to-rise-rise-rise-as-smart-devices-take-over-the-world/#6274df2032da

http://www.smartinsights.com/mobile-marketing/mobile-marketing-analytics/mobile-marketing-statistics/

http://marketingland.com/mobile-top-sites-165725

Resources:

http://foundation.zurb.com/

http://getskeleton.com/

http://getbootstrap.com/